New kitchen rig / cookware / storage.

dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,348
League City, Texas USA.
So due to my wifes passing, I sold both of the pop ups we had and were working on to fund funeral expenses NOW... I am working on buying a pop up slide in truck camper since it is just my dog any myself, and I prefer to agility off road of a truck camper vs towing. But this discussion is relevant to any small camper so let's dive in...

So, I like to cook good food, not the ultra basics, and to do that I kind of need some gear to do that, and of course clean up, and serve it up.. So I figured I would give you a run down of my gear at this point...

My cookware has been whittled down to what I am finding works well for me.

#1. I am using a set of Stansport clad stainless steel nesting cookware. It is "family size" cookware and aside from the handle the attaches / detatches is every bit as nice as good household cookware just taking up a LOT less space. This replaced my old Ozark Trail / Texsport 6pc family cookset. Similar sizes, just much better pans... The Ozark Trail nesting set is up for grabs for anyone interested BTW, just lacking the stuff sack as the original fell apart with age, and the replacement I made, I carried over to the Stansport set...
#2. I have reduced the CI I carry with me, mostly because I know I need to be careful with weight in a half ton truck. I bring my 10.25 inch skillet, my double sided griddle, and 2 dutch ovens, an Ozark Trail 5qt, and a Lodge 12" deep which I think is 8qt. I only carry both for big cooks like Holiday dinners. Usually only carry the Lodge. I omit the DOs entirely if no planned baking, or if I will be camping where there are burn bans and I can't use them.
#3. The cooking utensil set is an Ikea Grunka stainless steel set, and an OXO 18" stainless steel BBQ tongs. Easy to use in the camper, AND no worries at the campfire. I also have a pair, well a lot more but I carry a pair of Coleman Extendible campfire forks for doing s'mores and grilling bratwursts over the campfire.
#4. Ozark Trail 12 cup percolator. This is really just an efficient water boiler. I actually brew the coffee with a GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip. Percolated coffee is too bitter for my taste... I also have a stainless steel milk frother for my coffee rig, but that is likely to be left at home...
#5. Grocery store cutting board sheet. Need to get a new one.
#6. Chef knife set in a knife roll with edge guards. They roll up nice and tight and don't take up much space at all. I am more comfortable with this than the folks that use the magnetic strip things. Just feels safer to me.
#7. Dollar store measuring cups, and spoons. Nesting, inexpensive, and actually very high quality.
#8. I have the same can opener for the camper that I do for my kitchen. USA made Swing A Way can and bottle opener. I have tried smaller, lighter models and all have failed me quickly. Aldi actually had the Swing A Way on one of their Aldi Finds things last year so I bought a couple of them...
#9. Limited but stainless steel mixing bowl selection, collendar, and whisk. I have the full set, but for example I don't need to have a giant popcorn bowl and I am not going to mix giant batches of bread in the camper. I need a bowl to mix salads in, mix pancake batter, cake batter etc... Yes it takes up a little bit of space, but not enough to worry about.
#10. Spices. I am keeping a dedicated selection of spices in the camper. I have a set of clips that will hold them to the camper pantry door, keeps them secure, and available.

The camper does not have a built in oven, and I like nothing better than hot biscuits and gravy on a cold rainy morning. I have my old Coleman Folding with rectangle pizza stone, and of course foil insulator to stabilize internal temps, and yest it works well. I have a 9x9 cake pan, muffin tin, and bread pan. And while it has been from refrigerator dough, I have indeed baked fresh bread in camp. I know not everyone wants to bit it was a special occasion with a group...

The camper has one single bowl small sink, which means I soap keep a collapsible basin for hot soapy water while washing dishes. It collapses down pretty small and doesn't really take up that much space considering its usefulness.

I carry a scrubby for the cast iron, and one of those Scotch Brite sponges for the rest of the stuff. I also have a long handled dish brush to get deep inside my large stainless steel tumblers.

For serviceware, I carry a Stansport 4 place enameled steel service set that has plates, bowls, useless cups that are left at home, knives, forks and spoons. Honestly, obviously I do not need service for 4, but I am also someone that believes in sharing a campfire and a meal with anyone, so I always like to have extra.

Likewise and I need to replace them as they are getting rather dog eared as of late, but my drinking containers are the 32oz probably 30oz actually, stainless steel vacuum insulated tumblers from Sams Club. I carry 4 of them.

Honestly I know people that can and seem to be happy with just a jetboil a spork, and a pocket knife to whittle a stick for toasting marshmallows and cooking hot dogs. I should know I was one of those people decades ago.

I know it sounds like a lot of gear, but aside from the 2nd DO, ever last bit of cookware fits into a 40qt Hefty hi top tote. There are enough nooks and crannies in the camper, most notably between camper and sides of truck bed, that if the stuff isn't used all the time, like the DO and the folding oven, it gets stowed there in a waterproof bag.

The trick in a pop up truck camper is getting creative with storage space.
 
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Snow

Super Active Member
Jul 19, 2007
12,272
Ontario
Think you are packing more cooking ware then we carry in the TT. Personally I would scale that back to about half if not a quarter.
 

Dingit

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
2,144
Does the TC have storage under the bed? You're gonna need it! :)

Actually it doesn't sound like THAT much. I'd dump the mixing bowls and use the nesting cookware instead but you know what you need.

I use the percolator the same way. It's a kettle. Percolated coffee...[XX(]
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,936
Albuquerque, NM
We reassess what we take in kitchen gear (& everything else) on a regular basis. What works for us doesn't necessarily works for others, so I'll go with the suggestion that we each choose what we need. However, I will always be happy to tell you what we have, because over the years, we've found some cool things that work for us. (Collapsible bowls that are placetic and silicone, so lightweight and space-saving, stacking cookware, etc.
 

dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,348
League City, Texas USA.
Does the TC have storage under the bed? You're gonna need it! :)

Actually it doesn't sound like THAT much. I'd dump the mixing bowls and use the nesting cookware instead but you know what you need.

I use the percolator the same way. It's a kettle. Percolated coffee...[XX(]
I am using nesting cookware, the Stansport Clad family cook set is a what I think 6pc nesting cook set. Not crazy about the multi fit lid, but pots are every bit as good as the residential ones...

and the mixing bowls are literally 2. Not sure of the size, but not huge. Honestly if I just do bagged salads I can probably leave them at home... Although the curved bottom DOES make it easier to mix and ladle out pancake mix. There is another option. In the QTY I use, Quart size protein shake shaker bottle. Or mix ahead of time and stow the batter in a washed out clean quart water bottle / liter soda bottle... However space saving is minimal considering the collendar. I use that for pasta. Now if I could find something to strain the pasta straight out of the pot that would work too! And looking at Amazon of course, there seems to be a wide selection of strainers...

There IS a reason I started this discussion BTW, trying to figure out how to get all the function in minimal space...

And yes there is underbed storage, the intent there is clothing...

The kitchen smalls fit in the utensil drawer including the knife roll. The DO goes through one of the exterior access panels and stows in the truck bed. I have it in a waterproof padded carry bag. At least the big one...

l am trying to whittle it down to the functions I need / want. I am not going to just be going one or two day trips, but planning on going off grid for weeks at a time, so I want to be prepared...

Something I forgot to mention. The TC does not have an oven, so in that list needed to be...
Coleman Folding camp oven, with Pizza Stone, and foil heat retention cover. I.E. wrap it with foil to try to keep temps stable, plus muffin tin, small bread pan, and 9x9 cake / casserole pan. Those will come out and along with me twice a year. Thanksgiving and Christmas. Or on trips where I want to bake but there is an open fire ban so the DO won't be allowed... In which case the DO stays home.
 
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Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
12,455
Nj
I like the mixing bowles. I tried to not have them at first, but i use them for serving and mixing and the collander fits in the top of one. This way I can save the water for the fire after I boil pasta, or just let the water cool down so it dosent melt the plumbing. Its nice to be able to drain stuff that I cook outside, outside. I have a similer pot set and love them. + 5000 on the swing a way. Only can opener you need. I have a cheap one also, unfortunately that was a needed buy because I forgot a can opener. It needs to get tossed. I did get a spare handle for the pop set, just incase you break one, or didn't want to swap handles on two pots. You may want to pass on the percolator, and just use a pot to boil water. If you are only using it to heat water. Other then that, not too much stuff.
 

dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,348
League City, Texas USA.
I like the mixing bowles. I tried to not have them at first, but i use them for serving and mixing and the collander fits in the top of one. This way I can save the water for the fire after I boil pasta, or just let the water cool down so it dosent melt the plumbing. Its nice to be able to drain stuff that I cook outside, outside. I have a similer pot set and love them. + 5000 on the swing a way. Only can opener you need. I have a cheap one also, unfortunately that was a needed buy because I forgot a can opener. It needs to get tossed. I did get a spare handle for the pop set, just incase you break one, or didn't want to swap handles on two pots. You may want to pass on the percolator, and just use a pot to boil water. If you are only using it to heat water. Other then that, not too much stuff.

Obviously everyone is going to have a different opinion and that's fine just for the way that I cook when I camp, I think if someone is just doing basically rice aroni or hamburger helper meals this is way too much cook where. But I won't eat that stuff. At least not all that often. I have been considering the 2nd handle so I guess I'm not the only one who's been thinking about that. As far as the percolator is concerned I actually have 2 of them a 9 cup and a 12 cup I've been trying to get the mind cup and some other things organized to gift to a friend of mine. I bought the 12 cup last year because it made breakfast very easy for my late wife and I. I could make mugs of coffee or tea and have plenty of water left 4 oatmeal.
 

Sjm9911

Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
12,455
Nj
I got one of these. My other handle clicked in and was a pain if I had 2 pots going.
 

Dingit

Super Active Member
Mar 8, 2017
2,144
I like the Coleman folding oven but it would have to be used only outside because of the cooktop configuration in my TC. (It's too close to the wall.) I got an Omnia Oven which is smaller and while it would require a shape change for your pizza, it works pretty well on a cramped stovetop.

I often use a Coleman stove outside but sometimes I just don't want to mess with it.
 

dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,348
League City, Texas USA.
I like the Coleman folding oven but it would have to be used only outside because of the cooktop configuration in my TC. (It's too close to the wall.) I got an Omnia Oven which is smaller and while it would require a shape change for your pizza, it works pretty well on a cramped stovetop.

I often use a Coleman stove outside but sometimes I just don't want to mess with it.

A valid point. The cook top in the camper seems to have way more than enough distance to the walls of the camper. But yeah, no harm in throwing the Coleman stove in the back of the truck to bake outside. Especially in warmer weather well worth keeping from heating the camper up... Of course in the winter...
 

kitphantom

Super Active Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Dec 26, 2009
13,936
Albuquerque, NM
I like the Coleman folding oven but it would have to be used only outside because of the cooktop configuration in my TC. (It's too close to the wall.) I got an Omnia Oven which is smaller and while it would require a shape change for your pizza, it works pretty well on a cramped stovetop.

I often use a Coleman stove outside but sometimes I just don't want to mess with it.
My Omnia & the similar Wonder oven have been great additions to our camping equipment. The versitility of using the Omnia inside or out is very handy. I've been using the Omnia and Wonder Ovens to bake at home for the last couple of years too. I h ave the ceramic non-stick pan for the Omnia,as well as the larger pan. (If they'd come out with the ceramic non-stick first, I'd probably not have bought the larger Omnia pan, because the Wonder oven is a bit larger, but it's OK.)
I'll be baking quick breads this week on the (gas) stove at home to freeze for our Thanksgiving week trip
 

dbhost

Super Active Member
Sep 19, 2018
1,348
League City, Texas USA.
My Omnia & the similar Wonder oven have been great additions to our camping equipment. The versitility of using the Omnia inside or out is very handy. I've been using the Omnia and Wonder Ovens to bake at home for the last couple of years too. I h ave the ceramic non-stick pan for the Omnia,as well as the larger pan. (If they'd come out with the ceramic non-stick first, I'd probably not have bought the larger Omnia pan, because the Wonder oven is a bit larger, but it's OK.)
I'll be baking quick breads this week on the (gas) stove at home to freeze for our Thanksgiving week trip

Well, I need to bake things like biscuits, small loaf breads, and small batch casseroles like sweet potato casserole etc...
 

SteveP

Super Active Member
May 21, 2015
2,648
Well, I need to bake things like biscuits, small loaf breads, and small batch casseroles like sweet potato casserole etc...
The Omnia is great for small batches, one or two servings. With the added benefit that it works well on the inside stove in the camper, so it's usable in bad weather and during fire bans. It's pretty much replaced the DO when it's just me and Debi. Like the DO it does take a little practice to figure out heat control.
 




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